Turkmenistan’s government recommended on July 13 that its residents start wearing masks to combat “dust” in the air.
The Central Asian nation, which continues to insist it has zero coronavirus (COVID-19) cases, has previously banned its citizens from wearing masks, reportedly arresting some of them for discussing the pandemic in public. The reversal on masks comes after a World Health Organisation (WHO) delegation arrived in Turkmenistan for a 10-day mission to investigate Turkmenistan’s response to the outbreak.
The government also requested its citizens to maintain a social distance of at least one metre from each other without elaborating on the purpose of the measure.
Independent reports claim that the coronavirus has already spread throughout all provinces of the ex-Soviet state. Turkmenistan has already imposed some measures to curb the spread of the virus, such as limiting travel between provinces, disinfecting public transport and handing out flyers, warning its citizens to stay vigilant against unnamed infectious diseases.